Suspected abuse or neglect

We believe that every adult has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life free from fear.

Many adults over the age of 18 have to rely on other people to help them in their day-to-day living because of disability, illness or frailty.

Sadly, it's because they have to depend on others that they may become vulnerable and at risk of abuse. It's very often from people they know or trust such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer.

Understanding abuse

Abuse can be deliberate, unintentional or accidental. It can take many forms:

  • physical abuse - hitting, pushing, biting, pinching, slapping, restraint or misuse of medicines
  • psychological or emotional abuse - intimidation, shouting and swearing. People subject to this type of abuse will feel frightened and tormented
  • sexual abuse - improper contact, unwanted touching and kissing, sexual intercourse and exploitation
  • financial abuse - items, money or property being stolen or taken under the threat of violence
  • neglect - being deprived of food, water or appropriate care. Being deprived of privacy or social contact. Misuse of medicines
  • discrimination - suffering abuse due to gender, sexuality, religion, culture or disability
  • domestic violence - physical, sexual or psychosocial and so-called 'honour' based violence within known relationships or within the same household
  • modern slavery - human trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude with exploitation, slave masters and inhumane treatment
  • institutional or organisational - where things are arranged or set up to meet the needs of the staff rather than the service user
  • self-neglect - failure to care for your own essential health needs or surroundings. This includes hoarding, which could lead to harm

Find useful information below to help you learn more about the safeguarding of adults: